The Garry Rogers Motorsport driver has struggled for consistent speed in recent rounds, falling from the lead to fifth in the championship standings, 249 points adrift of Jamie Whincup.
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McLaughlin finished the race in 15th spot, while Moffat progressed to ninth.
The 23-year-old McLaughlin has a now qualified 15th or worse for three of the last four Saturday races before bouncing back on Sunday on each occasion.
McLaughlin's inconsistent form has arrived following Volvo's decision to leave the sport at the end of 2016 and confirmation of his move to DJR Team Penske next season.
“I can still fight for the title but we can't afford to have too many bad days. This game is tough,” McLaughlin told Speedcafe.com.
“We have just got to find that sweet spot (with the car) but we will find it.
“I'm not stressed about it but it is just unfortunate that for two race meetings in a row we haven't got it (car speed). If we can have a strong day (today) then it makes up for it.
“It is just little things with the car. You don't want to transform the car because it is not that bad, but we haven't got that extra half tenth that will push us forward.
“We have still got the enduros which have two 300 point races and then another 300 point weekend at the Gold Coast where anything can happen.
“I'm not really too stressed but it does hurt.”
While admitting car speed has been an issue, McLaughlin feels that a couple of errors have crept into his game which need to be eradicated.
“I feel like I have a good car over the run but just getting the outright speed out of it at the moment is quite hard,” added McLaughlin.
“(But) there are a few things I haven't got quite right.
“Sunday at Townsville was good so hopefully that can be the same here at Ipswich.
“I think the car is not where we want it to be but the driver needs a bit of a tune up too.
“I have just made a few mistakes. I just didn't get the qualifying lap right and sometimes you go through a phase where you just don't get it right.”